Italian Alphabet Soup with Cheesy Soup Dippers
Place a box grater on a cutting board and shred up lots of Parmegiano Reggiano cheese for topping the bread dippers and soup. Save the rind of the cheese to go into the soup while it’s cooking. That’s the secret ingredient!
- 1 wedge Parmigiano Reggiano cheese with rind on
- 2 cloves garlic, in the skins
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 small onion, chopped up by a grown-up helper (GH)
- 1 cup marinara or tomato sauce
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup alphabet pasta
- 2 jumbo English muffins, sliced open by a GH
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Garlic powder
- Dried Italian seasoning blend
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Ask a GH to put a medium soup pot over medium heat.
- Place the garlic cloves on a cutting board and get a small, heavy frying pan from your GH. Use both arms and whack the garlic cloves, one at a time, with the back of the pan. Pull the skins away and discard.
- Ask your GH to add the EVOO to the pan.
- Add the garlic and onions and stir with a wooden spoon. Let the garlic and onions cook for two minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce and stir.
- Ask your GH to slowly pour in the chicken stock so it doesn’t splatter. Give it a stir, put a lid on the pot and turn up the heat to high to get it to boil.
- When the soup boils, have your GH take the lid off the pot and stir in the pasta and the cheese rind. Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer. Cook until the pasta is tender, 6-7 minutes.
- While the soup cooks, toast up the English muffins in your toaster oven.
- While they toast, melt butter in a dish by putting it in the microwave for 15 seconds on high. Have your GH take the dish out of the microwave in case it’s hot.
- Brush toasted English muffins with butter, then sprinkle with lots of the cheese you grated and some garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
- Have your GH put the English muffins on the toasting tray and into the toaster oven to melt the cheese on top. Then ask your GH to cut the garlic cheese muffins into 2-inch strips (four strips per muffin half). Use these to dip into your soup.
- When pasta tastes almost done, add the vegetables and a little pepper.
- Take the cheese rind out of the soup and serve.
- Serve bowls with a few cheesy dippers to dunk and extra grated cheese to sprinkle on top.